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Use these six steps to delegate work, so that it gets done, done well and done on time! For a more comprehensive coverage download the training Get It Done, Done Well and Done on Time.
Delegation is far more than a way of getting people to do the things you don't like or don't have the time to get to.
Step 1. Select the Task
Most delegation falls into two categories one-off tasks/projects or recurring tasks/projects. Not sure what you could delegate? Some ideas are, tasks that -
Provide valuable experience and will develop the bench-strength in your team
Step 2. Select the Person
Who likes to be given work that no-one else wants? No-one! If you dump on your team members all the tasks you hate - and know that they will hate too - you can only expect resentment and frustration.
However, if you delegate work that challenges, provides added responsibility and exposure, increases skills and most importantly is work the individual likes to do and is good at, well then you can expect the person to be receptive to your request to take on extra.
Your success at delegating will depend in large part upon your motivation. Take a look at this list and think what your response would be if you believed your leader was delegating to you for this reason:
It is critical before you delegate that you assess each team member's:
Step 3. Plan the Delegation
Before you have a conversation with the person you'd like to delegate to, you need to plan out what the delegation entails. The elements you need to consider include:
Many of the elements that you identify in the planning stage may be modified once you begin to hold the conversation with the delegatee. For example, you may decide to change timelines or decrease the number of hours required. Stay open. Your plan is simply that, a plan, do not wed yourself to it and become inflexible during the conversation you have with your team member.
Step 4. The Delegation Meeting
It is important to really ensure that the person is committed to the new responsibility. People are more committed and engaged when they are involved in the process of establishing the expectation (see above). The person's emotional contract with you and the project is critical to a successful outcome.
During the meeting you should cover:
Step 5. Milestone Meetings
During these meetings:
Ensure that at each meeting the person is reassured that you are available to answer questions whenever they need support.
Step 6. Debrief
The final debriefing consists of a two-way discussion about how the delegated task went. It allows you to:
You will be more effective, at successfully bringing out the best in others, when you have the ability to flex your leadership style to suit the particular person and situation.
The Situational Leadership (SL) model, developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey in the late 1960s, has been used by millions of leaders around the globe. It describes four primary styles of leadership - Directing, Coaching, Joining and Delegating.
Like all models it has its limitations, for example I firmly believe that the relationship is important, no matter the individual's technical competence and/or attitude. However, the concept of changing and flexing your style, according to the needs of the individual in front of you, is an important part of your competence as a high performance leader.
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